The Circle of Strife

Putting political beliefs before compassion has led to a downfall of bipartisanship between each other

Alex Barfield

Occasionally, when boredom heaves it’s way to the summit of my thoughts, I like to play a little game. It’s quite simple. First, I type in the nine digit passcode to unlock my cell phone. Then, I open up the Instagram app.Finally, I browse through the stories of the accounts I am following, and count how many posts contain some sort of political attack against those with opposing political beliefs.Tonight, I played my little game and I counted 48 different posts attacking the opposite political party. 

It’s in moments like that when I begin to consider how numb I have become to the constant cycle of pure, unfiltered, back-and-forth hatred. The neverending merry-go-round. I think about my mom and my aunt, one liberal and one conservative, who I have never seen get into vicious political discourse about their beliefs. I ruminate about my grandfather who, for as long as I can remember, has dismissed the entire Republican party as a group of awful human beings, mocking them at every passing opportunity. I wonder if the two parties can ever go back to coexisting peacefully.

You could see the seething anger between former Vice President Biden and President Trump during the first presidential debate. The snarky comments. The direct insults face-to-face in front of a national audience. The President making a poop joke on national television. Biden calling Trump a clown and telling him to shut up. The flaws of those who are supposed to lead are a mirror image of our own childishness and intolerance.

 No matter how hard I try, I can’t quite figure out the main reason for this ongoing war of opinions. Is it one’s constant need to prove himself as the most correct person in the room? Are the words from the constant heavyweight matches of Washington starting to trickle down to the American people? Or is this just the nature of the human race? 

In the end, it doesn’t matter at all why people feel the need to fight and hurt each other, over and over and over again. What matters most is just a small twinkling wish in the universe of abstract thought.  I dream of a day when compassion returns to the forefront of our decision making. I want to see the happiness of others valued as much as our own.  Warmth needs to become the default reaction to anger. Because really, there’s nowhere to go but up.